Still a relative newcomer on the ‘exotic holiday’ scene, Cape Verde’s fantastic weather and fabulous beaches are making the 10 volcanic islands that make up the country hot property whatever the time of year. Situated in the centre of the Atlantic Ocean, some 500 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa, Cape Verde’s temperatures are high year-round, and with its tropically blue waters and vast stretches of pristine golden beaches you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d landed in the Caribbean!
With much Portuguese influence- Portuguese is the dominant language of the islands- many of the buildings are charmingly European, and its food a delectable fusion of African and Portuguese.
While sun seekers will be happy to spend the day on one of the many palm-fringed beaches or poolside at one of the modern hotels, there’s plenty to do away from the sun-lounger for those in search of a bit of adventure.
Sal is Cape Verde’s most popular island for holidaymakers, and it’s no secret as to why. The coastline is lined with pristine, golden beaches, widely regarded as some of the best this side of the Atlantic. Sea life is the main attraction and you can indulge in a host of watersports, take a boat trip to try and spot some of the loggerhead turtles or humpback whales that call these waters their home, and watch as the local fishermen bring home their haul for the day- there’s no question the seafood on the island is as fresh as it could be! Santa Maria on the southern shore is a lively hub where you’ll find some excellent hotels, live music bars, a handful of al fresco cafes along the promenade and a host of restaurants where you can sample the island’s delectable fusion of Afro-European cuisine.
Sal’s lunar-like inland landscape gives no indication of what treasures lay on its coastline. Salt lands make up the island’s baron interior and you can get up close with a visit to Pedra Lume’s salt crater where you can explore the salt mines, take a dip- or a float!- in the ‘dead sea’ lakes or just enjoy the magnificent view that will make you feel like you’re on a different planet!
For the ultimate relaxing destination, Boa Vista delivers over 35 miles of fine white-sand beaches and year-round sunshine. Portuguese for ‘good view’, Boa Vista is definitely name by association; stretching out to the horizon, the beaches are wide, pristine and benefit from the island still being under the holiday radar, meaning you won’t be battling with anyone to stake your patch of sand.
You’ll find a wide variety of dining options depending on where you choose to go. In larger resorts such as Sal’s Santa Maria, you can expect to find local specialities alongside international cuisine, particularly Italian pastas and pizzas, and Indian curries. Fresh is always the dish of the day on Cape Verde and there’s a plentiful supply of seafood; traditionally served grilled or barbequed, the fish is hauled in by locals, bought by the restaurant staff and delivered to your plate within hours!
Cachupa is Cape Verde’s national dish. A hearty stew, Cachupa is a slow-cooked dish made with beans, corn and fish or meat, all locally sourced.
British nationals require a visa to enter Cape Verde.
British passport holders travelling to Cape Verde can for a fee (cash notes), obtain a visa, valid for 30 days, for entry into Cape Verde from customs on landing at any of the international airports in Cape Verde.
Boa Vista is Portugese for "Good View", therefore once you arrive at this stunning resort you'll see why they couldn't of called it anything else.
The beautiful island of Sal is surrounded by golden sands, turquoise waters and luxurious resorts hugging the beach. Wander inland and you will discover charming cobblestone towns and cosmopolitan markets.